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Head of Radonova’s Polish Division Qualifies for FameLab Final

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Zuzanna Podgórska, an experienced radon specialist who manages Radonova’s Polish division, has made the finals of Polish FameLab. FameLab is an international competition to find and support the world’s most talented new science communicators. Cheltenham Festivals held the first FameLab in 2005. Its partnership with the British Council in 2007 took the competition global, and to date, more than 10,000 scientists and engineers have taken part. Poland has been an active member of the competition since 2012.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis this year’s Polish finals have been moved to 2021. However, there will be no preselection for the competition next year and all ten 2020 finalists will be given the opportunity to present their talks. Participants have three minutes to win over the judges and audience with a scientific talk that excels for its content, clarity and charisma. The British Council runs FameLab competitions in around 25 countries each year, and the winner of each national competition travels to the UK’s renowned Cheltenham Science Festival to compete in the FameLab International Final.

Zuzanna’s talk was titled “Deadly Undarkness – Between Absurdity and Unawareness”. In her presentation, she talked about a moment in history, soon after the discovery of radium, when people added the radioactive element to more or less everything: food, sweets, children’s toys, toothpaste and cosmetics.

Between 1917 and 1926, the U.S. Radium Corporation employed more than a hundred workers (mostly women) to paint watch and clock faces with their patented ”Undark” luminous paint. Workers were taught to shape paintbrushes with their mouths to maintain a fine point, and some used the material to paint their nails and teeth.

Five Radium Girls sued U.S. Radium in a case that initiated labor safety standards and workers’ rights. The case was settled in 1928, putting an end to shaping paintbrushes with the mouth and open containers of radium paint. Though radium was still used in clocks until the 1960s, new cases of acute radiation syndrome in dial painters came to a halt, and soon after, so did the popularity of radium-containing products and toys. Zuzanna finished her talk with a quote from Maria Skłodowska Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”

Zuzanna has worked as a specialist in the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection since 2013. She has a master’s degree from Warsaw University of Technology, where she studied passive radon detectors. Her PhD studies were in the Nuclear Physics department working on geological radon mapping. She is involved in teaching and the popularization of science and has wide experience in the field of radiation protection. She is a qualified Radiation Protection Inspector.

At Radonova, we wish Zuzanna all the best next year in the Polish final and congratulate her on achievements to date in such a prestigious competition.

About Radonova

Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public and private sector large scale measurement contracts around the world.  A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of measurements.

For more information about radon and radon measurement visit https://radonovalaboratories.com

Famelab

Radonova update in regards to COVID-19

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Radonova has taken a number of measures to ensure procedures carry on as normal during the COVID-19 pandemicWe, like other organizationsare affected by the seriousness of the situation but will continue to conduct measurements and deliveries without interruptionOur customer support is open as usual and accessible to those who have radon-related questions. 
 
In order to minimize the spread of infection, a large number of our employees currently work from homeEmployees working in our laboratory who provide services which cannot be performed from home are completely focused on reducing the risk of exposure and spread of the virus. This means that detectors can still be returned to Radonova and analyzed. In all cases, we strictly adhere to national regulations and recommendations 
 
The continual global fight against the Coronavirus is also a reminder of the work we doLike radon, COVID-19 is a serious health risk that can damage the lungsThis virus further enhances our commitment to educating the general public about the dangers of radon and promoting human wellbeing. 
 
For the latest information about the Coronavirus, please refer to your national health authority. 
 
Karl Nilsson, CEO Radonova Laboratories

Short-term measurement

Radonova accelerates European expansion plan with German appointment

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Radonova Laboratories has appointed Patrik Nöteberg, an experienced radon specialist, who will be responsible for the company’s strategic growth in Germany. Like many other European countries, Germany has introduced new stringent national rules as a result of EURATOM Directive BSS 59/2013. This means that the demand for reliable, flexible and cost-effective radon measurements will increase. In addition to measuring radon in housing, the German market will now have a major focus on workplace measurements.

Except for the mining industry, awareness of the health implications of radon exposure has been relatively low in Germany. However, due to Germany’s large population about 1,900 civilians are estimated to die from radon-related lung cancer each year. Across Europe, Radonova is committed to ensuring that the general public fully understands the implications of radon levels in both their homes and workplaces.

Process, service and quality are crucial in eradicating radon

“Geographically, it’s typically in the southern and eastern parts of the country that ground radon is a problem. With new laws and regulations, the demand for professional consultants who can provide expert measurement and analysis will increase. I am delighted to join a company that is at the forefront of radon measurement technologies. In addition to technical innovation, Radonova excels in terms of standards, processes and support, providing a comprehensive solution to customers. These are crucial factors when you look to approach a large and technically mature market such as Germany”, comments Patrik Nöteberg.

“Being raised and educated in Germany, Patrik has crucial local knowledge which is essential as we continue to establish our service in the German market. We already have a presence, but with Patrik onboard our expansion plans will speed up. Patrik’s knowledge of the German culture and sales process are vital as we continue to expand our presence across Europe”, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories.

Patrik Nöteberg holds a master’s degree in physics (measurement technology) and has vast experience in international technical sales and support. In addition to Germany, Patrik will also be responsible for Radonova’s growth in Switzerland and Austria.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that leaks from the ground and in some cases comes from building materials. Depending on the ground beneath the house and the type of building construction, harmful high concentrations of radon can occur. Radon is a health risk that, after smoking, is the most common cause of lung cancer.

Globally, an estimated 230 000 people are affected by lung cancer each year as a result of long-term exposure to radon. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 3% – 14% of all lung cancer cases are caused by radon depending on where you live. WHO recommends a limit value for radon content of 100 Bq/m³.

About Radonova

Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public and private sector large scale measurement contracts around the world. A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of measurements.

For more information about radon and radon measurement visit www.radonovalaboratories.com

For more information, contact Karl Nilsson, CEO Radonova Laboratories AB
Phone: 070-639 01 31, Email: karl.nilsson@radonova.com

Patrik Nöteberg

Radonova’s Tryggve Rönnqvist honoured by the ERA

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At this year’s European Radon Week, Radonova’s radon specialist Tryggve Rönnqvist received the prestigious European Radon Association award. Tryggve was given the award for his many years of work and expertise in the field of radon awareness and research, as well as his involvement in the development of new innovative radon measurement solutions.

With an overwhelming majority of the votes, Tryggve Rönnqvist was awarded the prize over three other nominees, each a radon expert. In addition to his knowledge and experience, Tryggve’s availability and willingness to help industry colleagues with radon-related issues was also taken into account.

“The ERA is a key industry organization, that has great influence on research, knowledge sharing and developing and introducing common methods and standards in radon measurement. Of course, I am delighted to receive this award from my industry peers. My entire professional life has been focussed on radon-related research and studies. I am therefore very proud to be acknowledged and thank the ERA members for their support. The prize is also a reminder that the fight against the harmful effects of radon is an international concern and we all must work together”, says Tryggve Rönnqvist.

The European Radon Week was held in Vienna on February 24-28. The conference presented a series of research projects and showcased new solutions. Radonova presented on the challenges it faced and lessons learnt in communicating the risk of radon in Sweden.

Tryggve Rönnqvist works as CTO at Radonova Laboratories.

For more information about ERA visit www.radoneurope.org

For more information about radon and radon measurement visit www.radonovalaboratories.com 

Radonova's Tryggve Rönnqvist honoured by the ERA

Radonova strengthens support team to meet increased customer demand

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The global demand for reliable radon technology and measurements is increasingThis has led to Radonova strengthening its support team with the appointment of Erica Hall who joined the company in 2019. Here, Erica tells us about her role, the Radonova work environment and how her new job is helping her to develop new customer facing skills. 

Tell us a little about your background…

I have a pretty mixed background in terms of education and work experience. In terms of academia, I focused on hotels, tourism, finance and administration. In terms of work, I have, among other things, run my own business, been a store manager and worked with order administration. Today, it feels like an advantage to have a broad background and extensive experience of working with people. Providing a high level of service has been expected no matter where I have worked. That philosophy and determination to help customers has served me well in my new role at Radonova. 

What attracted you to Radonova?

It felt like a company with a great vision and a business that is basically about improving human health. My first impression was that it was a workplace where you can grow as an individual, and over the subsequent months I have been proved rightYou are given a lot of freedom and responsibility. If you want to develop and move on to new roles, there are plenty of opportunities. 

How do you view support work?

I really enjoy customer contact and ensuring that all who request help are completely satisfied. Many customers have limited experience in regard to radon measurements, therefore we need to make it as simple as possible to conduct a measurement, regardless of how much experience the customer may have. 

In what way is the work stimulating?

Frequently my contacts are repeat customers. This helps in building a more personal relationship. At the same time, the job does vary a great deal. You never know what can happen from day to day, sometimes there’s a huge volume of  incoming calls many of which need to be resolved quickly. As a person, I thrive when there are a number of tasks which need to be completed to a specific deadline. I also manage the administrative process in regard to our measuring instruments. In summary, my job is varied and offers a good mix of different activities. 

Is there anything that you have found particularly challenging?

Naturally learning a whole new sector creates its own challenges. It´s an ongoing process, but I learn something new every day and have the benefit of attending training courses which helps me to manage situations which I may not have come across before. Radon measurement is about precision and is fact-intensive, which enables me to learn new things every dayHaving said that, facts can only take you so far. If you work in support you have to enjoy working with people and in regard to that I think my broad background and experience comes into its own and enables me to offer a support service that customers appreciate. 

What is Radonova like as a workplace?

We are a broad mix of people in terms of age, background, knowledge and interests. It’s been easy to become part of the Radonova community and it feels like I’ve been here longer than I have. As a newcomer you benefit from the knowledge and experience of those around youThere’s a team philosophy at Radonova which is important if youre doing a role which you’re not familiar withHowever, you quickly get a perspective on how the company operates in terms of flow and processes. This is important as my support role demands that I am able to give direct answers to a wide range of customer queries.

Erica Hall

Record levels of interest in European Radon Week 2020

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Interest in “European Radon Week” has surpassed all previous levels, making it one of the standout dates in the calendar for national authorities, the scientific radon community, industry and all other experts interested in radon. The conferenceheld in Vienna from 24-28 Februaryhas been sold out for many months. The event is supported by the European Radon Association (ERA), the European Commission and Europe’s largest radon project, MetroRADON. 

This year’s program includes presentations on research conducted by MetroRADON – a project funded by the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR)Attendees will also be provided with an update on the new EURATOM BSS directive and how it is progressing in individual European countries. 

– The Vienna conference is without doubt one of the most important events this year. This is where European researchers, authorities and companies gather to exchange experiences and share knowledge. The conference is also important as it enables various stakeholders to identify which areas require further research and study. The event is renowned for developing and introducing common methods and standards in radon measurement, comments Radonova’s José-Luis Gutiérrez Villanueva, secretary of the ERA. 

– As the world’s leading radon laboratory, Radonova will continue to play an active role in any international research which highlights the dangers of radon exposure. By sharing our knowledge and experience which we gather from various countries, we are able to contribute important data and research which ensures that measurement techniques and analysis of radon remains at a very high standard, says Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories. 

The conference will present a number of research projects and new solutions aimed at reducing the harmful effects of radon. In addition, Radonova will present on the challenges it faced and lessons learnt in communicating the risk of radon in Sweden.
 

More information about European Radon Week 2020 can be found here»
http://radoneurope.org/index.php/european-radon-week-2020/ 

For more information about radon and radon measurement visit www.radonovalaboratories.com  

Record levels of interest in European Radon Week 2020

Radonova receives excellent results from PHE for validation test

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Radonova Laboratories has received exceptional results in a radon measurement validation test carried out by Public Health England (PHE) – an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the UKThe latest test follows on from a comparative test conducted by PHE in May last year where again Radonova achieved industry leading resultsPHE’s comparative reference tests are widely recognised as being one of the most demanding in the industry. 

PHE’s validation test indicates that Radonova has minor deviations from the respective reference value. In the test, Radonova deviated by less than 4.7 per cent from the respective reference value in all five cases.  

For the validation test, radon detectors were exposed to different levels of radon. They were then compared to the official reference values as ​​specified by PHE.

”The results from the two recent tests are an endorsement of our technology and the research we undertake to constant improve our market proposition. PHE consistently places very stringent demands on both reliability and function. It is particularly gratifying that a highly regarded independent party, for the second time in less than a year, has confirmed that our radon boxes and measurement methodologies maintain a high and consistent standard”, said Tryggve Rönnqvist, radon specialist at Radonova Laboratories.

In the test, the radon boxes were subjected to the range exposure of 177 – 2526 kBqh/m³. 

Why measure for radon?

Every year around 230,000 people die of lung cancer caused by radon exposure. Radon gas is part of the element of the uranium decay chain and since uranium is found in many places in the earth’s crust, radon is found almost everywhere. High levels of radon can be found in regions which have a large concentration of rock or have a cool climate. The latter is due to the fact that radon gas levels are usually high in insulated houses that are heated. To be fully aware of radon levels, homeowners should always measure. 

Most countries in the world require measurements that provide an annual mean, which usually entails a measurement period of over three months. 

Radonova receives excellent results from PHE for validation test

Alberta and Saskatchewan 2nd most radon-exposed populations

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Alberta and Saskatchewan 2nd most radon-exposed populations on Earth claims latest research 

A University of Calgary-led study has found that the Western North American Prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are the 2nd most radon-exposed populations on Earth, just behind Poland. The study generated many interesting findings, one of the most concerning being that radon levels in North American residential environments may be increasing, with newer homes being the most susceptible to rising radon levels. The study was based on testing 11,727 residential buildings throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The study found that numerous property metrics contribute to indoor radon levels, including the year of construction, the size and building type of the home, ceiling heights, and the window opening behaviors of the occupants.  

The research incorporated multiple testing approaches, including long-term and short-term alpha track tests from Radonova, short-term E-Perm tests analyzed by AGAT Laboratories, and RadonEye continuous radon monitors manufactured by FT Labs. While short-term radon tests are indicative of radon levels during the testing period, the study also suggests they may not always coincide with a home’s long term average radon level, in particular short term tests performed in summer months as compared to a long term tests performed over winter months. The full report can be found here. 

The research team relied on data gathered from the Evict Radon campaign, a non-for-profit project where Canadians are encouraged to be “citizen scientists” and participate in the study by testing their homes and answering survey questions prepared by researchers. Through science, the campaign aims to eradicate radon exposure in homes to prevent future cases of radon-induced lung cancer. The study is open to all Canadians and people can register now. New participants will be accepted until February 29, 2020. To find out more, visit the Evict Radon website 

Weston Jacques, Executive Director of Evict Radon, said: “Radon awareness is very low. Not a lot of people know about it, or really understand it. What we’re really trying to do is leverage the University research to increase awareness and education about the harmful effects of radon. There aren’t many platforms which allow the public to ask questions about radon, which is a responsibility we’ve taken onboard.” 

Bill Rounds, President of Radonova, said: “The research findings will hopefully encourage communities and individuals to take action and test their homes for radon. Participating in the Evict Radon project not only provides researchers with valuable data to further understand the factors that contribute to indoor radon levels, but also provides participants with their home’s radon levels, empowering them to make decisions and take action with regard to their indoor air quality. Living with high levels of radon is an unnecessary health risk that can easily be reduced.”  

# # # # 

About Radonova

Radonova Is a global leader in radon measurement, having performed millions of measurements in over 50 countries. Together with our partner Radon Environmental, we proudly serve the Canadian market by bringing high quality radon measurement solutions across a broad spectrum of applications, from individual home testing to measurement projects of all sizes. 

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com  

Radonova launches ROBIN2 – a professional radon sensor with high sensitivity

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Radonova Laboratories has launched ROBIN2, broadening its range of radon measurement technologies. The latest version of ROBIN is twice as sensitive as its predecessor and includes an improved response function for optimum compliance with rapid changes in radon levels.

ROBIN2 is a state-of-the-art radon sensor that can be deployed as a fixed installation in smart homes for monitoring and reducing radon levels. It can be mounted in all types of ventilation control units where there is a requirement to monitor radon levels. It can be easily connected to a controller, central unit, data logger, fan control system or PLC and is available in various formats.

The new response function improves measurement accuracy as radon levels fluctuate. This is due to its improved sensitivity, which reduces error at lower levels, otherwise it is limited by deteriorating statistics due to the pulse rate being too low. ROBIN2 has a new motherboard that is more insulated and weather resistant. ROBIN2 is available as a standard or industrial version which can be used for mining. The mining version has enhanced protection against dust and moisture and is optimized for underground measurements.

– I’m delighted that Radonova has enhanced the capabilities of ROBIN, which was the first radon sensor of its kind when it was first launched in 2016. ROBIN2 is without doubt a market-leading detector, due to its new response function and overall stability, said Dag Sedin, a senior advisor at Radonova, who was integral to ROBIN’s initial launch.

ROBIN2 is available now.

About ROBIN2

ROBIN2 measures the radon content of air in Bq/m³ and gives an analog output signal of 1-10V, proportional to the concentration of radon in the air. Compared to its predecessor, ROBIN2 has improved sensitivity and a larger and more efficient measuring chamber. The output signal is also more stable and more consistent with the real radon content variation. If required, the measurement range can be defined by the customer. The radon sensor is protected against electromagnetic interference and can be connected to a thyristor controller. The transducer is mountable without directional dependence and can be permanently installed in a room, ventilation shaft or air handling unit. The mining version has enhanced moisture protection and is built for an underground environment.

Additional features:
• Can measure accurately in both laminar and turbulent airflow
• High sensitivity to provide good time resolution
• Great flexibility and can be customized for OEM

For more information on ROBIN2 visit our dedicated website
For more information about radon and radon measurement visit our website

ROBIN2

Interview with Weston Jacques of Evict Radon

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In this Expert Interview we talk to Weston Jacques, Executive Director of Evict Radon – a new non-profit organization dedicated to radon awareness and testing across Canada via a University of Calgary research study. During our conversation, Weston discusses the evolution of the Evict Radon campaign and how it is expanding this year…

How did the project come about?

Evict Radon started as a research study out of the University of Calgary through Dr. Aaron Goodarzi. Dr. Goodarzi is studying radon at the University and trying to identify why some homes have low levels of radon, while others have high levels of radon. In order to do this, he needed as many people as possible to test their homes for radon gas. In order to do this successfully, he needed to build a campaign to increase public awareness with a call to action to purchase a radon testing kit, hence the creation of Evict Radon.

What is your role in Evict Radon and how has the campaign grown?

I was employed by the University of Calgary in November 2018 to support Dr. Goodarzi’s from a communications perspective and help get the message out there. My employment coincided with additional funding for the project which was used to widen the scope of Evict Radon outside of Calgary to the rest of Alberta.

Due to the success of Evict Radon last year we realized it had more scope than just a four-month campaign (October- January). It soon became apparent that Evict Radon could shape radon awareness, on the back of the University research, across the entire country. Therefore, in February 2019 we took the decision to incorporate Evict Radon as its own non-profit. This is when I assumed the role of Executive Director.

Even though we now have a national focus, we are still very much run out of the University of Calgary, but we recognize that we are growing and it’s becoming a much bigger entity than just a University research study. My role during the campaign season is to ensure the public understand what radon is and why they should purchase one of our kits and participate in our project.

Crucially, by purchasing through us you are contributing back to lung cancer research. Furthermore, the kits are analysed in a laboratory which is the only ISO17025 certified alpha track testing facility of its kind, so we are 100% confident in the lab analysis and its QA process.

Why does the campaign run during the fall and winter?

Originally the research was showing higher levels of radon in the winter – particularly in climates such as ours. Because we have very cold winters people seal their homes and turn on their furnaces which creates a shift in the negative pressure which in turn has the potential to increase radon levels.

What has been the feedback from the public?

Radon awareness is very low. Not a lot of people know about it, or really understand it. What we’re really trying to do is leverage the University research to increase awareness and education about the harmful effects of radon. As Dr. Goodarzi is the Canadian Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease, it provides the campaign with a degree of authority and so when we communicate with the public there’s a lot of trust as it comes directly from an institute. In general, the feedback has been really good.

Evict Radon was never meant to be a scare campaign, we didn’t want to freak the public out about a gas in their homes which they couldn’t see, smell or taste. We wanted the campaign to be easy to remember which is why we called it Evict Radon, it’s a play on words which is easy to understand and gets the message across.

There aren’t many platforms which allow the public to ask questions about radon, which is a responsibility we’ve taken onboard. You can find out a lot of information on our website and we try to keep it as simple as possible. We take the time to answer all calls and emails and reiterate this is the first step to lung cancer prevention.

What’s new moving forward?

In order to communicate our message across all of Canada, we need to offer all our information in both English and French. We’re currently exploring what it will take to develop a French website and French speaking support team. For this year, there will be far more focus on the Saskatchewan province in Western Canada as we are seeing very high levels of radon in this area and really hope to get as many people testing as possible.

What has been your experience with the service provided by Radonova?

We could not do this without the support of Radonova. Their partnership in this endeavor has helped us design a custom service model that meets the specific needs of our project. They’ve been fantastic in terms of accommodating our residential audience – each homeowner must fill out a home metrics survey and register their kit on Radonova’s platform. The research we produce annually couldn’t happen without this information and because of this, they have been a phenomenal partner in the success and expansion of the Evict Radon campaign.

Weston Jacques